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Benjamin Converse - Social judgment, competition and rivalry, motivation, goal pursuit

Social Science
Batten School/Psychology Department
Supervising Faculty Member: 
Benjamin Converse
Research Focus: 

Much of my work focuses on the question of how people achieve personal and group goals in a social world. With my lab group, the Social Behavior and Decisions Lab, and other collaborators, I am investigating questions such as: How do social judgments and evaluations change when people view collaborative efforts as a means to achievement versus as goals in themselves? How do the achievements of individuals’ groups affect their personal goal pursuit? How do people get beyond their own psychological perspectives to infer others’ thoughts, feelings, and opinions about the world? When and how can social exchange occur effectively and efficiently?

We are particularly concerned with how individual thought processes lead to decisions and behaviors that promote or undermine stable social systems. Research areas: social judgment, motivation and self-regulation, social exchange, perspective taking, and decision making.

Position Description: 

A selected USOAR student will participate in daily lab activities such as data collection, data entry, and literature reviews.They will work collaboratively with other lab members including graduate students, research assistants, and staff to further the lab's research activities, and will participate in monthly lab meetings.
Ideally a USOAR student in this lab will develop and implement their own research idea. This project is flexible in design, but should be related to lab interests (decision-making, motivation, goal pursuit, etc.).

Required Skills: 

Students should be self-directed workers with attention to detail and interest in understanding the deeper questions behind daily tasks.

What will you learn: 

1. Understand the steps of the process translating a question into a study, into a paper.
2. Be able to run a study individually with care towards quality data and precise work.
3. Develop a better sense of their own research goals and interests.

Social judgment, competition and rivalry, motivation, goal pursuit